The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has concluded its investigation of Polish Commissioner-designate Janusz Wojciechowski and recommended the European Parliament recover €11,243 that had been unduly paid to him while he was a Member of the European Parliament based on his travel declarations and attestations of attendance.
The conclusion of the investigation throws a wrench in European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen‘s team confirmation process by the European Parliament. Von der Leyen is now called on to react to the OLAF findings, and to decide whether the findings are enough to ask the Polish government for a new nominee.
While a press statement by OLAF confirms that “No disciplinary or judicial recommendations have been made concerning Mr Wojciechowski in person,” what is certain is that the supporting documents that Wojciechowski provided to the European Parliament and OLAF were not in order.
OLAF notes in its statement that the sum in question has already been paid in full to the European Parliament by Mr Wojciechowski.
Von der Leyen will know – or will quickly learn – that OLAF reports finding a need for recovery of “unduly paid” funds of taxpayer money is no joke, and how the President-elect reacts will affect the way she is perceived as a President.
Von der Leyen is already having a tough week as the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee rejecting the Hungarian and Romanian Commissioners-designate.